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Barack Obama's Iowa crowd elects him president already

August 1, 2008 |  3:30 am

Democratic presidential nominee to be Barack Obama at the start of a Cedar Rapids townhall meeting 7-31-08 just before the crowd sang to him Happy Birthday, Mr. President

The Ticket needs to apologize because apparently we missed a little something, like the next three months and that bothersome thing called election day.

Sen. Barack Obama walked into a town hall meeting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday, a familiar place where the freshman senator launched his onetime long shot and now sure shot campaign to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

The crowd was an enthusiastic one, like so many of Obama's gatherings. Its members were ready to see and cheer their leader. And he was ready for them too, ready to denounce John McCain's "negative ads" showing Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, as devoid of new ideas and only criticizing the Democrat without offering the Republican's own positive agenda. "Is that all you've got?" the Democratic candidate would ask his opponent in absentia.

But before listening to his usual stump speech, the crowd, perhaps spontaneously, perhaps not, had something that seemed just right to do for their guy, according to the From the Road blog of CBS News' Allison O'Keefe. The nominee-to-be's fans sang "Happy Birthday" to him. On Monday Obama will turn 47.

But the happy crowd did not sing "Happy Birthday, Sen. Obama."

It was a small but revealing thing. The very confident crowd sang the song, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."

And Barack Obama looked very pleased to hear it.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Chuck Neibergill / Associated Press